Looking for some honest feedback and open discussion on the topic of Windchill Discussions. Discussions can be created for a Product, Project, Program or Library or for a specific "object" (Part, Document, CAD Document, etc.) in Windchill. The process is split into two steps; creation of Discussion Topics and creation of Discussion Comments/Replies.
I'm curious to find out who is currently using this feature, what kind of expereince you've had with it and what direction you would like to see it go in the future. I am open to any and all suggestions and will start with a few ideas I'd like to see to get things started...
We use the Windchill Discussions, indeed. Even if the UI isn't that inviting. We started with a few believers, and the group is extending little by little.
Some quick remarks:
- from the details page of an object, you can't see that there is a discussion going on. You have to dig in to know.
- the confusion between 'notebook' and 'discussion' should be removed, and maybe should attachment be integrated into discussions as well
- opening an attachment from a discussion isn't well implemented
- the discussion table is horrible to overview, we use capitals for the titles to lighten the pain
- suggestion: adding markers to postings, so that these discussions can be used as low level 'don't forget' lists
- seeing who's subscribed to a discussion, a very important feature
- subscribe 'en masse' to discussions of objects, instead of one by one
So, I think discussions are very important to capture and distribute ongoing info, far more better then e-mailing back and forth.
Some additional annoyances about Discussions:
- there isn't a Collaboration > Discussion on Change Tasks, only on Change Notices and Change Requests. We mostly need it on the Tasks.
- There is no sorting at all. It would be nice to be able to sort on 'Author', on 'Date', on 'Topic'.
- Unable to edit topics and postings is the biggest thershold for most of the users. Although letting anybody edit anybodies postings would not be right, no editing at all is wrong as well.
The biggest issue I have with discussions is that they get forgotten. Even if you have a discussion started, it is very hard to see that a particular object has a discussion, or if new information has been added to it after it has been started.
The people I work with don't have the time or inclination to check discussions to see if there is anything new. Notifications need to be more "in your face".
I think that if the people I work with would start using them more, that they would see the benefits, but so far, very little adoption or use of discussions has happened.
Maybe if you could import an email thread as a starting point?